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J Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs. 2008 Mar;15(2):161-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2850.2007.01202.x.

An evaluation of education and implementation of psychosocial interventions within one UK mental healthcare trust.

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  • 1Education & Practice Lead in Psychosocial Interventions, Berkshire Healthcare NHS Trust & Thames Valley University, Prospect House, Prospect Park Hospital, Berkshire, UK.


Psychosocial interventions (PSI), though recommended in the NICE guidelines for schizophrenia and bipolar affective disorder, are not routinely available to people with a serious mental illness in the UK. Education and training initiatives to equip mental health professionals with skills in PSI have grown over the last decade; yet the literature indicates serious problems in implementation of PSI in routine service provision. This paper examines on a local level the factors which support and limit the education and practice of PSI in one UK mental healthcare trust. It reports on a survey of trainees and their managers which aims to evaluate the impact of a PSI training programme and practice development strategy on staff, managers and service provision. The key findings are: a high rate of implementation of PSI by PSI-trained staff in the Trust; a strong association between PSI training and career progression for staff; and the support mechanisms which are most effective in the education and implementation of PSI. The paper concludes that certain measures and support mechanisms have facilitated the successful implementation of PSI with positive outcomes for staff and service provision. Further recommendations are made identifying measures which facilitate the implementation of PSI through an integrated education and practice development strategy owned by all stakeholders.

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